Do you make too much sense?


“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

-Walt Whitman

I am a lot of things.

I am a straight, white, male living in Omaha, Nebraska. I am a business owner, a speaker and an author. I am a father, son, brother, husband, uncle and cousin. I have traveled the globe and ended up living a few stone throws from where I grew up. I am a difficult friend and a poor neighbor. I like all four seasons, but my favorite is usually the next one; maybe it is the transition that I love most. I became a former Democrat after becoming a former Republican. I love all human beings, but I only really like a few. I am a farm boy in the city. I am an atheist ordained minister and a pacifist combat veteran. I am against all forms of violence…except for a good mixed martial arts fight of course. I am a sober alcoholic. I have lied and I have told the truth. I have done good things and I have done bad things. I desperately want to be loved and appreciated and accepted, and I never say those things out loud. I encourage people all the time to be more courageous, but I commonly lack courage. I love to sleep and hate to go to bed. I love to be on stage before hundreds or thousands of people but usually have no idea what to say to the lone person next to me in the elevator. I am a proud, card carrying member of Generation X, and you do not know what that means about me, and neither do the yahoos writing books about it. Only I know what it means about me, but I would probably tell you if asked. I do and live and deeply believe in diversity and inclusion, and I have done and said incredibly racist and sexist and homophobic things in my life. Sometimes I am happy for you, and proud of what you have done, and sometimes I am just jealous. I don’t like that about myself, but it’s true. Sometimes I really know what I am doing, and sometimes I am just making it up. I love graffiti, poetry, NPR, PBS and people that have survived. I am most interested if your story has an arc, if you have scars and have been lost. I do appreciate your compliments, I just do not know how to respond.

Make sense? Neither do you.

We can make sense for each other or we can be true with each other.

You are not so neat and orderly.

Be large.

And be good to each other.

  1. Heather Kinzie

    Joe, thank you.

    As you may know, my neat and tidy hospital corners haven’t been starched, clean or worthy of a decent nights sleep in quite some time.

    I’m coming to accept it…defining my new reality.

    I ain’t perfect…and neither are you. Glad we’re getting to know each other!

  2. Adrienne Bryant

    Makes total sense to me. Thanks for being open and honest, Joe. I wish more people would do the same.

  3. Ben Stone

    This. Soooooooo much This.

  4. Amy Mather

    LOVED this!!!

  5. Jeffrey Cufaude

    This is how we should always introduce ourselves whenever we become a part of a new group.

    Thanks for modeling the way.

  6. Trish McFarlane

    Sharing flaws builds the connection between us. I am scarred. I am stronger because of it. This piece made me feel an even closer connection to you. Thank you for continuing to share your light and teach us.

  7. Johnnie Tate

    This is spot on! Thanks joe for penning something that every sentence saw me wanting to quote.

  8. Karen Hertz

    Oh my….are you peeking inside my head? Uncanny. Perfect chaos. Love it!

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